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NEA Honors N.C. Gov. Easley for His Support of Public Education

'America's Greatest Education Governor Award' highlights Tar Heel State's education accomplishments


WASHINGTON - July 03, 2008 -

Gov. Michael F. Easley (D-N.C.) today received the "America's Greatest Education Governor Award" from the National Education Association.  Presented for the first time, the award recognizes elected public officials who have demonstrated exemplary achievements and accomplishments in advancing public education.

A longtime education advocate, activist and children's book author, Easley was presented the  prestigious award by NEA President Reg Weaver before nearly 10,000 delegates attending NEA's Representative Assembly.

"Public school transformation happens at the local and state levels," said NEA President Weaver.  "Gov. Easley recognizes that when developing and implementing education policies, teachers must have a seat at the table.  NEA is proud to present this award to Gov. Easley. The 'America's Greatest Education Governor Award' recognizes leaders like Easley for embracing the basic right of every child to have access to a great public school."

Elected governor of North Carolina in 2000 and reelected in 2004, Easley's commitment to education includes three hallmark initiatives: the highly successful More at Four program, the state's first academic preK program for at-risk four-year-olds; the award-winning N.C. Learn and Earn initiative, which allows high school students to jump-start their college education through 42 Learn and Earn high schools located on community college or university campuses; and EARN grants, which have allowed approximately 25,000 students from low- and moderate-income families to receive up to $8,000 of financial aid over two years.

NEA created the "America's Greatest Education Governor Award" to annually recognize and honor governors who have made major state-level education strides that improve public schools. This year's award was presented on the opening day of the 87th Representative Assembly, the highest decision-making body for the 3.2 million-member NEA. 

During the convention, delegates will discuss, debate and vote on critical issues facing public education.  Delegates also will outline the Association's best thinking about the proper and most effective role the federal government can play in supporting public schools.  Weaver will ask NEA delegates to take a formal vote to endorse Sen. Barack Obama in his bid for president of the U.S.

More information is available at www.nea.org/annualmeeting.  High resolution photos of Gov. Easley accepting the award are available by contacting NEA Public Relations at (202) 822-7823 or newsdeadline@nea.org .

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

Contact: Staci Maiers  (202) 822-7823